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Protesters Demand Scrapping SARS Police Unit

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It’s day two of mass protests in Lagos demanding for the abolition and proscription of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, an arm of the Nigeria Police.

Students and youths rallied round the city on Tuesday and early Wednesday morning in a peaceful march to the governor’s office and the police headquarters as the agitation spread to other parts of the country.

In the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), scores of protesters marched to the Nigeria police force headquarters in Abuja on Thursday, calling for the scrapping of the police squad.

Protesters caused traffic gridlock in Abuja’s city center where the force headquarters are located.

They dramatized police killings by pouring red paint on the roads and chanting anti-SARS songs.

Force headquarters spokesman Frank Mba, who is also deputy commissioner of police, says SARS cannot be scrapped because it is still needed to combat armed robbery and other violent crimes across the country.

In Ilorin, protesters converged on the popular general post office area before marching on Ahmadu Bello Way to the headquarters of the state police command and then the Kwara State government house chanting anti-SARS songs as they carried placards with various inscriptions like “End SARS Now,” and “Stop Killing Our Youth.”

Former police inspector-general, Mike Okiro said on Thursday rather than scrapping SARS, it should be rebranded and refocused for effective service delivery.

Lagos deputy governor Obafemi Hamzat has challenged the Nigeria police force to prosecute wayward police men and bring them to book.

He made the call while addressing protesters who had spent the night in front of the Lagos State House of Assembly.

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Nigeria Needs N500bn Every Year For Three Years To Develop Road Network – Fashola

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Nigeria’s minister of works and housing, Babatunde Fashola says the country needs half a trillion naira per year for three years to develop its roads network.

Fashola gave this figure while addressing the press corps of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, in Abuja on Monday.

The minister seems to lay some blame on past administrations whom he chastised for not showing as much commitment, quote, “as the president Muhammadu Buhari government.”  He said if those past governments had shown such commitment, most of the thirty-five thousand kilometers of the country’s roads would have now been completed.

Fashola said the current administration inherited many roads, some dating back to 2006, and some older. He said the country was earning more from oil, at one hundred dollars per barrel, and the nation’s total budget was four trillion naira. Now, with forty dollars per barrel, Fashola said the country’s budget is thirteen trillion naira.

The minister said there are currently more than seven hundred contracts working on constructing or rehabilitating more than thirteen thousand kilometers out of the nation’s thirty-five thousand kilometers of roads.

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South Korea’s Yoo Myung-Hee Reportedly Withdraws From WTO DG Race

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Nigeria’s former finance minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, appears to be the lone ranger standing for the post of director-general of the World Trade Organization.  This follows a report that her opponent, South Korea’s trade minister, Yoo Myung-Hee, is withdrawing her candidacy for the position.

South Korea is said to have informed the United States of the decision to drop out of consideration for the position because the trade minister had failed to garner enough support from every region.

Okonjo-Iweala secured wide margins of popular support, but her candidacy was put on hold because the U.S. had not supported her candidacy.

A newsletter, Washington Trade Daily, reports South Korea has already informed the United States of its decision which is expected to be made public in a matter of days.

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Gombe Judge Petitions CJN, Alleges Illegal Exclusion from CJ List

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Justice Beatrice Iliya of Gombe State High Court has petitioned the National Judicial Council (NJC) over the exclusion of her name from the list of judges to be considered for appointment as chief judge of Gombe State.

Meanwhile, president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Olumide Akpata, said, in reaction to Iliya’s exclusion, the NJC should stamp out discrimination in the country’s judiciary.

Justice Iliya contends the omission of her name from the list sent to the Njc by the Gombe State judicial service commission was a violation of the NJC directive on the appointment of a chief judge.

She says, as the most senior judge on the Gombe State High Court bench, there was no justification for her name not to be sent to the NJC.

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